Female impersonation need say nothing about sexual identity, but it has for a long time been almost an institutionalized aspect of gay male culture.
Although sparse in images documenting the gay community, pre-Stonewall gay male photography blurs the boundaries between art, erotica, and social history.
Given the historic stigma around making, circulating, and possessing overtly homoerotic images, the visual arts have been especially important for providing a socially sanctioned arena for depicting the naked male body and suggesting homoerotic desire.
Independent films that aggressively assert homosexual identity and queer culture, the New Queer Cinema can be seen as the culmination of several developments in American cinema.
Renowned photographer, teacher, critic, editor, and curator, Minor White created some of the most interesting photographs of male nudes of the second half of the twentieth century, but did not exhibit them for fear of scandal.
The first international fashion superstar, Halston dressed and befriended some of America's most glamorous women.
An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.
Film, stage, and television actor Paul Winfield was openly gay in his private life, but maintained public silence about his homosexuality.
Shattered windows at the museum.
Shortly before 5:00 a.m. on October 29, 2012, vandals struck San Francisco's GLBT History Museum, shattering two large plate glass windows. Located in the Castro District, the museum is devoted to displaying and interpreting the history of glbtq people.
None of the historical objects on display at the museum were damaged and no theft occurred. "It's clear that this was vandalism," said Paul Boneberg, executive director of the GLBT Historical Society, the organization that runs the museum. "We don't know who smashed the windows this or why they did it."
According to Boneberg, "When the alarm sounded at 4:50 this morning, the security firm immediately summoned the San Francisco Police Department and notified our staff, who were on the scene very quickly. In short order, the broken glass was removed and the windows were boarded over."
The GLBT History Museum closed for clean up on October 29, but planned to reopen Tuesday for its normal hours, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The total cost of the damage is not yet known, but will be minimally a few thousand dollars, Boneberg said. Donations to assist with the repairs and to support the museum can be made online here.
The GLBT History Museum is a project of the GLBT Historical Society, a research center and archives founded in 1985 that houses one of the worlds largest collections of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender historical materials. Currently featured at the museum are two major exhibitions: "Our Vast Queer Past: Celebrating San Francisco's GLBT History" and "For Love and Community: Asian Pacific Islander Queers Take Action, 1960s-1990s," plus a special temporary display, "Play Fair! The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Make Sex Safer."
The depfox YouTube video below features a tour of the GLBT History Museum soon after it opened in 2011.